A Family Affair: Competing Sponsors of Literacy in Appalachian Students’ Lives

Sara Webb-Sunderhaus


This article explores the literacy lives of students enrolled in English Composition courses at two open-admission universities in Central Appalachia and the complex role of immediate and extended family members as sponsors of literacy in these students’ lives. Some relatives emerged as both sponsors and inhibitors-or perhaps more accurately, sponsors of competing meanings of literacy-and illustrated the larger social forces surrounding literacy in these students’ lives.

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Publication of the Community Literacy Journal is made possible through the generous support of the English Department and the Writing and Rhetoric Program at Florida International University. The CLJ is a journal of the Conference on Community Writing.